Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old mosaic in Rome depicting the Greek god Apollo surrounded by his muses in a cellar once used as a park tool shed near the Colosseum, officials said on Friday.
"This is a very important discovery. The mosaic is in perfect condition and it can be dated exactly to between 64 and 109 AD," Umberto Broccoli, head of the culture department of the Rome city council, told reporters on a visit.
Excavations are being done in an underground gallery of the ancient Trajan Baths, a vast structure near the ruins of Nero's palace, the Domus Aurea.
The parts of the mosaic uncovered so far are made with various shades of bronze-coloured tesserae and show columns, Apollo and one of the muses.
A series of unique frescoes have already been found in the cellar space, including a cityscape and a group of men pressing grapes to make wine.
Archaeologists believe there are more mosaics to be uncovered and have said they need an extra 680,000 euros ($978,000) to finish the excavation.